Natural Skincare: An Interview With KORRES Co-Founder, Lena Phillipou Korres
KORRES have been advocates of natural skincare remedies for years - carefully researching ingredients and developing their sought-after skincare and self-care products. Harnessing the power of Greek skincare ingredients, including natural Greek yoghurt, the brand has lovingly infused their formulas with the natural beauty of Greece - even working with local farmers to create a sustainable, eco-friendly business and supportive community.
Since launching at Face the Future, KORRES has fast become an in-demand brand with many of our wonderful customers discovering the magic of these soothing, nourishing, kind-to-skin formulas. With that in mind, we spoke to KORRES' co-founder, the incredible Lena Phillipou Korres, to find out more about the brand, the challenges of creating natural skincare, and, excitingly, what we can expect to see next from KORRES skincare.
Inspired By Greece, Harnessing The Power Of Nature, Backed By Research
Lena explains that KORRES skincare is all about Greece, nature, and research. "It's about capturing the beauty of Greece in harmony with nature; exploring and utilising its treasures responsibly; working with local farmers; extracting active ingredients and developing breakthrough technologies to be translated into formulas that meet the most demanding skin needs, delivering visible results." Lena says.
What is The Most Challenging Thing About Working With Natural Ingredients?
But working with natural ingredients and ensuring those visible results is not as straightforward as many think. "When we first started, natural cosmetics meant using just oils, extracts, and waxes - limiting our options and results." Lena explains. Although the products were still good for you, they weren't matching the standards of synthetic formulations that were available on the market in terms of their efficacy and overall experience. Lena says, "as research and technology evolved, our Molecular and Formulation Labs focused on discovering and studying powerful natural actives that often outperformed long-used synthetics, including potent antioxidants, polyphenols, peptides, stabilized vitamin C, and plant stem-cells - some of our own beauty buzzwords."
Lena explains that KORRES have used natural alternatives to synthetic peptides, to synthetic retinol, and to silicones. "Our aim," Lena says, "is to offer safe products based on ingredients with documented efficacy. Products that deliver visible results, all without disturbing our skin balance. They also must offer a great product experience." Something that Lena says can only be achieved by bringing nature together with dedicated, careful research and science.
"The challenge, however, lies not only on the powerful naturals we choose to include and the way we formulate," Lena explains, "but on the ingredients and compounds we choose to avoid when formulating, as well. Developing velvet, lightweight textures without silicones, a silicone-free hair line that was the efficacious answer to the protecting and conditioning properties of silicones, or the best-selling ammonia-free hair colorants were some of our achievements in the early days." Since then, KORRES have adopted an extensive negative list of hundreds of ingredients, with microbeads, silicones, mineral oil, PCM, phthalates, and select sunscreen filters being among them. Why? "Because we care for our skin, and we care for the environment." Lena says.
What Is The Most Important Thing To You When Creating Products?
"The most crucial aspect is dedication to quality and effectiveness." Lena says. "We are deeply committed to using natural and ethically sourced ingredients, ensuring that our products are not only gentle on the skin but also have a positive impact on the environment." As Lena explains, KORRES incorporates cutting-edge research and scientific advancements into their formulations, ensuring that each product delivers real results.
Sustainability and ethical practices are at the core of KORRES, and they strive to ensure that their production processes are both environmentally friendly, and contribute positively to the communities involved. "Transparency and open communication with our customers are essential to building trust," Lena says, "and we are committed to sharing the details of our ingredients, manufacturing processes, and the science behind our formulations."
In Your Opinion, What Is A Key Ingredient You'd Recommend For Customers To Achieve Healthier Skin?
"Healthy skin is closely connected to a healthy microbiome, which acts as the body's primary physical barrier, shielding it from external harm." Lena says. "Beneficial microorganisms in the skin microbiome prevent the invasion of harmful pathogens. However, an imbalanced microbiome can lead to dryness, redness, irritation, and dullness, giving the skin an unhealthy appearance. To achieve healthy skin, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being of the microbiome. At KORRES, we deeply understand the importance of a healthy microbiome. That's why we have incorporated the power of yoghurt - rich in probiotics and vitamins - and combined it with an extra dose of pre and probiotic complex in our Greek Yoghurt collection." Lena explains that this unique blend acts globally on the skin, providing moisturising and balancing care. It helps optimise the cutaneous ecoflora, strengthen biological defences, and improve skin radiance through a restructuring and smoothing effect.
Where Do You See The Natural Beauty Market Heading Over The Next Five Years?
"Over the next five years, I see the natural beauty market continuing to experience significant growth and evolution." Lena says, "Consumers' awareness and demand for clean and sustainable beauty products will likely intensify, leading to a broader range of natural and eco-friendly proposals from various brands. There will be increased emphasis on transparency and ingredient sourcing, with customers seeking products that align with their values and ethical considerations."
Lena continues "as sustainability becomes an even more critical aspect of the beauty industry, we will witness innovative advancements in packaging materials, reducing waste and promoting eco-conscious practices. Upcycling and recycling initiatives will gain further traction, contributing to a circular economy approach in the beauty sector. The skinimalism trend, which focuses on celebrating and enhancing the natural beauty of the skin, will continue to shape product development."
Lena explains that brands, including KORRES, will likely focus on creating multi-functional products that combine skincare and makeup benefits, and streamlining beauty routines. Furthermore, scientific advancements in natural skincare ingredients will drive the formulation of even more effective and targeted products, proving that nature can provide powerful solutions for various skin concerns.
"Overall, the future of the natural beauty products market is promising," Lena says, "with a stronger emphasis on sustainability, transparency, and efficacy. KORRES remains committed to leading the way in providing innovative, natural, and sustainable beauty solutions that empower customers to look and feel their best while contributing to a healthier planet."
What Are The Top Three KORRES Products That You’d Recommend For Our Customers To Try?
Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser
"My always go-to-product and the KORRES No1 cleanser globally!" Lena says. "One step that gently and effectively removes impurities and make-up without irritating, for soft, hydrated skin. Powered by the ancient skin-soothing superfood, Greek yoghurt, and natural cleansing agents."
Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink
"This transforms skin to velvet in a single drop." Lena says. "This product features the most resilient grape starved at the foot of Santorini’s volcano - arid volcanic-ash-rich soil rich in minerals, contributing to the grape’s uniqueness. This next generation dry oil bottles its antioxidant power, boosted by potent antioxidant resveratrol, to replenish and re-texture."
White Pine Restorative Overnight Cream
"Powered by White Pine Meno-Reverse™ technology with targeted action on post-menopausal aging, the formula embraces nighttime, bringing post-menopausal skin back its pre-menopause look and feel." Lena says. "This product is fuelled with a plant-based retinol alternative targeting hormonal-related ageing, without causing photo-sensitivity - a side effect strongly associated with retinol."
Can You Tell Us Something About KORRES That We Might Not Know?
"At KORRES we take pride in having an all-women team of scientists running our Formulation Lab. Women creating products for all women around the world!" Lena says. "I feel that the beauty industry is filled with female intelligence, talent, skills, and valuable knowledge that is driving innovation and advancement."
Can You Give Us A Sneak Preview Of What’s Coming Next For KORRES?
"We are proud to add two new products to our Santorini Grape collection! In September, we will be adding the smoothing and balancing Santorini Grape Pore-Less Skin Moisturizer and the detoxifying and clarifying Santorini Grape Volcanic Skin Reset Mask." Lena says. They will feature the antioxidant power of the unique ultra-polyphenol-rich white grape extract from Santorini, further boosted by cutting-edge active ingredients."
Lena continues, "overall, we will keep focusing on Greek herbs, on science, on innovation, staying loyal to our values; we will keep challenging ourselves to offer the most advanced skincare solutions consciously made through our Full Circle process, capturing that effortless Greek glow we love!"
Our FTF team would like to say a huge thank you to Lena for joining us in today's blog and sharing some incredible insights and information on KORRES and the natural and sustainable skincare industry.
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